A San Diego start-up says it is using algae to make oil that can be refined into gasoline and other fuels that are both renewable and carbon-neutral, and it plans to produce 10,000 barrels a day within five years.
The cats are shedding like crazy. And I mean KRRRA-ZEEEEE, much more than ever before. I keep brushing them, with the flea comb and the furminator. I keep brushing hair off the cats, off the floor, off the table, off the bed, off my clothes, off the laptop, and out of my face, and still, there's more.
What does that mean? That it's going to be 120° this summer?
This is the second time I've gone to see a blockbuster on its opening weekend - first Iron Man and now Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I didn't read any reviews until after I'd seen it, because I wanted to go in clean and free of other people's opinions. After coming home, I checked out Roger Ebert's review and his blog entry about Indy. My taste follows his pretty closely, but of course he can articulate his likes and dislikes and the reasons for those much better than I ever could. His blog entry is titled "I admit: I loved it 'Indy'!", and his review is summed up thus:
I can say that if you liked the other Indiana Jones movies, you will like this one, and that if you did not, there is no talking to you.
I'd had Promised Land, a sci-fi novel co-written by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice, in my car for a few months. (I usually keep one or two easy reads on the backseat, for when I'm waiting in line somewhere, or lunching by myself.) Every once in a while, I took it out and read a few pages, and by the end of the first chapter, I had to just take it home with me and read it through in one or two sittings. I'll just claim it was part of my plan to read more science fiction by women. I like Connie Willis' style - her stories are nominally science-fiction, but that's usually just the backdrop for a story that unfolds like a screwball comedy. In Promised Land, it's the classic story of a city girl coming back to her country roots, determined to just get her business transaction done and be out of those backwaters, but of course it's not that easy ... I like how the setting on a distant planet allows Willis (and Felice, about whom I know nothing) to make up a set of different laws, and makes her heroine stumble through a world she doesn't understand. I could see the traps she laid, and have read enough by her to know which casually dropped hints would become important later, but I didn't mind that - on the contrary, I enjoyed seeing the picture unfold.
I know, I know - I said I'd go easy on the Repairman. And what do I do instead? I inhale the next two novels in the Repairman Jack series, Gateways and Crisscross. Sigh ... what can I say? They're just so tremendously fun to read. And of course the fight between good and evil is heating up and accelerating toward the showdown. But now I am really taking a break. No, honestly - I have to, because I am missing the next book in the series. It's in my wish list on Paperbackswap, but doesn't seem to be available from anyone right now. And I was going to go to the libarry and see if they have it, but they were closed over Memorial Day weekend.
I'll just have to be patient. Not one of my core competencies.
My iTunes libarry holds 245 songs with the word "love" in the title, but only 18 "sex" songs. I was watching the first two parts of a four-part series on the Sundance Channel last night: Sex: The Revolution. The first part looked at the Fifties, Alfred Kinsey and Hugh Hefner and the beginnings of the sexual revolution. The second part was all about the loosening of morals in the Sixties.
I found it entertaining as well as very educational, with lots of historical footage from all sides - hippies advocating free love were represented as well as Billy Graham decrying the descent of America into sin. I'm really looking forward to the next two parts - and don't fret if you missed the first two parts; they'll be on again.
It's funny to me, America's attitude toward sex. Contemporary culture is completely oversexed, everybody talking and thinking about matching up boys and girls, and American life in general is fascinated and titillated by sex, and repulsed and ashamed at the same time. Americans relate to each other as men and women first, and as people second. After fifteen years here, I still really haven't gotten the hang of it. (Of course, maybe I don't really want to. I think they have it backwards.)
From Miss Ginsu, who made a bacon-topped chocolate cake:
Some approached cautiously, but everyone who tried the chocolate bacon cake proclaimed enjoyment. Some went back for seconds. In the end, not a single slice went unclaimed. The boss man was pleased, and the whole thing was an enormous success. I was left wondering why bacon bits aren't a standard topping for cakes in the same way they are for salads, casseroles and omelettes.
I agree. And why the hell didn't I think of this? Maybe because I don't eat much chocolate cake. In any case, I approve wholeheartedly.
Communication between Americans and Germans can be very difficult, because we have different expectations about language. In America, we like to coat everything up nicely and try to indirectly say what we want to say in the most polite way possible. We are taught as kids, that if we don't have anything nice to say, then we shouldn't say anything at all. This is why we have to try to say negative things in more positive ways. It also means the listener has to think about what is being said and figure out the actual intent of the statement. Germans have the luxury of taking everything at face value, since Germans say exactly how they feel. Since Germans take everything we say literally, there is often confusion in transatlantic matters.
Here is some anecdotal evidence from an acquaintance, let's call him "Jon". Jon has just moved to Germany from America, and the change in climate has caused him to get a bad case of dandruff. Jon's German is pretty good, but the subject of dandruff never came up in German class, so he grabs his trusty German/English dictionary and discovers that the German word for dandruff is Schuppen. Armed with his new vocabulary, Jon heads to the drug store and asks the employee there, if they have any shampoo for Schuppen, to which Jon receives a blank stare as if he were completely crazy.
Then she responds matter-of-factly, "No, we only have shampoo against dandruff".
Cracks. Me. UP! It is so completely true. I know I am a very literal person, and truth be told, I take pride in it.